26 March, 2010

the one about women, food, body issues and other fun stuff. i could say there are dancing monkeys, but sadly, my agent was unable to get any in time

i just got an email from cher monsieur antoine, that got me thinking about food, guilt, fat and that ridiculous hamster wheel we women like to hop on all the time.

a mentioned my food guilt and sent me a link to this post and although my first thought is that i am nothing like that girl (for one, she is living in paris where good restaurants abound, whereas i am in nanaimo, where they most definitely do not*) i soon realised that i am indeed quite a bit like her. the thing is, as a says, it's different for women, and he cannot understand.

i agree. for one, men are not bombarded with pictures of gorgeous skinny things every hour of every day. watch any sitcom and within its ridiculous canned-laughter premise you will likely find an ordinary, often chubby, shmoe, married to some gorgeous thin thing who loves him very much. hell, look at most rock star marriages. look at donald trump! for men it is expected that they be financially secure, for women, that they remain young and thin. the end. and no matter how enlightened i may like to think i am, i am always going to be caught up in that.

i know i've blogged about this before, but the thing that will always get me, the thing i have a hard time forgiving, is that in my glorious youth, in those days when i could (and sometimes did) polish off 14 pieces of buttered toast and jam with impunity, in the days when i looked like something out of a magazine, my fine-boned girlfriends' mothers called me a "big girl" "large boned" and other euphemisms for you know, being a large slavic woman. my mother and my aunt often commented on my belly, because hey, i wasn't ever flat as a board, because they, at my age, never ever had a belly (yeah, they most likely didn't, as they always tended to run to hips and ass).

so forgive me if there is a part of me that is having a hard time doing the whole "embrace yourself as you really are" thing, because EVERY GODDAMN STEP OF THE WAY someone is trying to trip that up. up to and including other women. up to and including my own family. up to and including every ugly stupid man i have ever known who thought he too deserved to date a supermodel.

at this point, i like to think that my weight loss scheme (which, by the way is working fine, thankyouverymuch) is related more to my health, and the fact that i am not about to turn around and get a whole new wardrobe, seeing as i like the one i already have. if i choose not to eat dessert other than homemade dessert, i like to think that is a good thing. how many times have you found yourself with a forkful of grocery store cake in your mouth wandering what the caloric point was of something that was that tasteless and vile? i have not given up on food, i have decided to eat good food, and i think there is a difference.

i have previously referred to michael pollan, and what he said that made me think was this: in previous ages, people indulged in "bad" food for special occasions. so if guests were coming, you would take the time to cut up potatoes, heat up a vat of oil, and make french fries. ditto with fried chicken. or cake. the problem arose when it was no longer a special occasion thing. you could pop out and get yourself a bucket o'chicken every single day. and so he says, eat the occasional treat but if you make it yourself, one, you will know what is in it, but two, it will remain a special treat. and so i decided to bake my own desserts, and lest you accuse me of dramatic asceticism in the name of excessive food guilt, let it be known that every weekend in the past month, we have had a homemade baked item and, lo, it was good.

*cross another thai place off the hopeful list - we had take-out last night from amazing thai, which, sadly, was a bit of a misnomer. that makes it two for two thai places that i would not eat at again. oh edmonton, sometimes i do miss you! two of the best thai places i had ever eaten at are there!


Anna Maria said...

Yes, shop-bought cakes are often vile. I never buy cakes, though I will buy macaroons, at exorbitant prices, from reputable places:-) I could never make them myself, so I can justify it. But I can certainly bake a cake myself, so why buy it?
It is so true, what you said about ugly underachieving men still thinking they're God's gifts to women. It is especially rife in Eastern Europe, less so, thankfully, here.

the polish chick said...

i have a thing about exorbitantly priced dessert items - i would rather go to a posh little shop and buy an expensive beautifully executed little tartlet than to spend a couple of bucks on a piece of crap. maybe i am a snob, but i feel morally justified eating the little expensive gem. it's...special!

Anna Maria said...

When it comes to desserts,I am definitely a snob. TBH, I am a snob, full stop;-D

the polish chick said...

i am not a car snob and i am not a label snob. i am, however, an intellectual snob (BTW, my polish is much better than my comment on your blog would suggest. it always looks so lopsided without all the little lines and squiggles which i can't be bothered to learn how to enable), i am a linguistic snob and i am definitely a food snob. i would be a cultural snob, but i am far too lazy to keep current with all the with-it kids.

Anonymous said...

You sound so bitter and twisted today... :(

the polish chick said...

really? bitter and twisted? i didn't think so. or at least not for the whole post. hm, perhaps. perhaps i don't like body issues, and am sick and tired of their constant presence in my life.

sorry. i'll try to return to my usual sunny optimism...um, wait a minute!

Anonymous said...

I went for a Thai meal with friends last night - 'twas lush!

It's a shame there's so much pressure from the media about body shape and youth.

When I'm with my friends I think they're wonderful and gorgeous as they are but then am contradictorily critical of myself. I'm very small and slim and get the opposite criticism such as 'when you turn sideways you disappear' and 'there's nothing to you' - which are quite horrid when you think about it!

I don't know why women comment so much about each other's shape, all sizes are gorgeous in their own way and to hell with men who bang on about their standards when they're no oil painting themselves...or indeed even being gorgeous gives them no entitlement to.

In fact I loathe six-packs and dislike the images force-fed down our throats about what attractiveness should be for both men and women in the press.

Eating well is good for health and general well-being (yep Ministry of the bleeding obvious) but it's good to follow that in general and have a few treats here and there :-)

Sorry, have rambled :/embarrassed/

the polish chick said...

ramble away, anonymous. you ramble beautifully.

Anna Maria said...

Your Polish is perfect. I have a cousin, who's lived in the US since she was 8 years old, and her written Polish is dreadful, never mind the "squiggles".
I am not a car snob, either, possibly due to the small issue of not being able to drive;-)

Anonymous said...

Love the blogski. What's with the lower case obsession? Is that a Polish thing??

the polish chick said...

hey anonymous, welcome. no, it's not a polish thing. it's a bloody lazy ass thing (c'est moi).

i am a faster thinker than i am a typist, so this is the result. i have no e.e. cummings aspirations at all.

Anonymous said...

O Kippered, I LIKE you - you're quite the charmer, aren't you?

I must get a fully functioning google account so that you will actually know who's rabbiting away on your comment section (I was charmed by your not berating me for waffling on about body images, you have the soothing skills of a UN envoy!).

the polish chick said...

ha, anonymous! UN envoy? i can honestly say that i have never EVER been accused of diplomacy before. typically i tend to err more on the side of extreme opinions volubly expressed, as you might have noticed.

by the way, you could just sign your name or alias, you know.

the polish chick said...

oh, and i agree about six packs being disgusting. i joke that i'd like abs, because it's outside the realm of the possible, but in reality, they are so...anatomical. i don't really need to know what i look like on the inside.